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Jul 09 2017
by Kalie Rials

Dear Life: What's Next in College?

By Kalie Rials - Jul 09 2017
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Hello, old friend/enemy. Yes, I am writing you another letter. You have been gracious enough to let me graduate from “the best four years” of my life (note the harsh sarcasm). Anyway, now I am going to Howard University and I wanted to talk to you before you started your usual routine of making my life a TV drama: College edition.

First of all, I have never been on a plane. Which is a problem simply because I live in Los Angeles. You know the city of wanna be ... I mean famous people. While my dream college (Howard, if that wasn't already clear) is in Washington, D.C. Yes, I want my plane ticket to success. I did the craziest thing. I only applied to Howard. It's one of those things you do. You just go for it and hope for success.

That's also another thing about you. The things we don't know seem to create either a thing we know as fear or curiosity. As freshmen, we are all so scared to fail. We are standing on the shoulders of the greats who stood before us. It's the expectations that also make me nervous for what's next. Going to college was that dream that seemed so far away from me. Now I am looking at it and I get chills down my spine. We closed the chapter on being comfortable in our high school routines and drama. If I am being honest with you, which I am, being an adult seems hard as hell; like what's that about? I doubt that any of us will complain about the intense freedom (but results may vary).

Another thing is that this is the start of our lives. I know that's corny as hell and so cliche. I didn't realize it until my mom asked me what it felt like not to be in high school. I couldn't answer because completing that milestone hadn't even registered in my head. When I woke up and the next Monday I had no school, I lost my breath a little, simply because I did it (not without bumps and struggles), and it felt like the most amazing thing in the world. We are growing up and now it's our time to make the world we want.

I realize that only I can tell myself what's next and the same with anyone who reads this. We can look at guides and stories, listen to our parents about the glory days (and how wack our generation is) and watch shows about college (don't expect it to be like a different world, though. Hopefully, everyone learned their lesson from high school movies). I want you to look in the mirror or write yourself a letter. What’s next is all about you.

It's simple. If you fear the flight over here (cause your crazy self has never been on the plane), conquer it. If you like a girl or guy, no matter your preference or gender, go for it. Think you can't pass a class? Well, think again. If money is tough, keep working until it becomes so easy. Mental or physical health in trouble? Find the guidance and help you need to get through. You are your "what's next?" And my dear friend/enemy, life is just along for the ride. I find it quite exciting no matter the fear and or curiosity. Conquer it. Love it. Think it. Find it. Feel it. Embrace it. Take it. Become what you want to be and make your "what's next?" a part of history.

All I have to say I haven't had the “best four years” of my life and yes, that’s a challenge to you, college life.

With confidence,

Kalie Aselee Rials

Lead Image Credit: Pixabay


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Kalie Rials - Howard University

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